While in Atlanta for Gourmet Catalog & Buying Group’s annual Start The Year Member Conference, the retail group also celebrated its 35th anniversary. The celebration took place at the Capital City Club, also located in Atlanta, and industry veterans, both vendors and retailers, were on hand to discuss how GC Buying Group has made an impact on gourmet retailing.
Robert Laub, president of HIC, Harold Import Company, reflected on industry mogul Joel McLendon’s crucial role in supporting Janis Johnson while forming Gourmet Catalog.
Adding humor to the evening, Scott Severinson, vp/business at Zwilling JA Henckels, recalled working with Johnson through the years in his former position, leading the audience through Severinson and Johnson’s 30-year working relationship with colorful anecdotes.
Mary Moore, owner of Atlanta, GA-based The Cook’s Warehouse, discussed how valuable GC had been to the success of her store, which is celebrating 21 years of business this year. Moore expressed sincere admiration for Johnson as a woman who succeeded in an industry that was dominated by men at the time.
“That night of reminiscing milestones makes me proud to represent such a strong community that supports each other to stay strong in local markets, allowing all of us to continue doing what we are so passionate about,” said Johnson, president and founder, GC Buying Group.